For business schools, the school year of 2020 is decidedly different from all other years. Indeed, for both schools and students, it was necessary to adapt to the context. If the start of the school year has been completed, schools now face a new challenge.
Since the confinement set up on October 30, 2020, most courses must be delivered remotely. They must put all the educational tools in place to offer the training for which students have often paid. It is true that for many students this creates a sense of frustration. Indeed, many of them have made loans often in excess of 10,000 euros and they feel they cannot benefit from the training in its integrity. Today, schools are facing a new challenge. They must put in place all possible solutions to offer what they were originally intended to offer in the present. For example, for some of them, such as EDHEC, the implementation of aid for students in difficulty.
Business Schools in Bordeaux and France have been impacted by COVID-19, as have many schools. Students, as well as teaching teams, have had to adapt in a new context. Their physical presence in the schools was no longer possible, and the return to a classical rhythm requires the organization. If the 2019/2020 student year is unlike any other, school principals are already starting to prepare for the coming school year. A re-entry under the sign of flexibility, and alternative solutions to deal with all situations.
A new plan for a crisis situation
Business Schools offer their students many diplomas and training courses, mostly in an international dimension. This is the case, for example, of the Kedge Business School, which offers a High School programme, with an international experience of 12 to 36 months. The Bordeaux Campus alone has more than 12,500 students, some of whom are spread all over the world. The announcement of the virus around the world has triggered a real crisis situation in business schools. The primary objective is to guarantee the safety of students who have remained in Bordeaux or all over the world.
The teaching team contacted all the students very quickly, and organized the repatriation of all those who had gone abroad. Thus, as early as February, the first repatriations took place, for students in high-risk areas, such as China. The most exposed campuses, such as the one in Shanghai, were closed in January, in the early stages of the health crisis. For the Kedge teams, it was inconceivable to put students and stakeholders at any risk.
Like all schools in the country, teleworking teams is a must. Students also started their courses remotely, in order to continue their year of study as normally as possible. A very rigorous organization in short, set up in very short time, to limit the cut as much as possible. Everything is then done to promote communication with students, and works perfectly. For the Kedge Business School, all modules were delivered, and nearly 178 exam sessions were held over five weeks. All with overall results more than good for students.
Business Schools and businesses face the health crisis
The added value of higher education is also the professional experience gained during internships and alternations. These contracts are highly valued by students. They allow you to discover the professional environment and potentially train yourself in your future career. For companies, it is also the opportunity to find talent to recruit once they graduate. However, the coronavirus situation has disrupted many internships for students and businesses. Indeed, the closures of “non-essential” companies in the context of containment, do not allow students to continue their internship. The interruption of an internship if telework is possible, or if the host organization continues its activity is not mandatory. However, it is the choice of many companies that do not wish to risk the health of their trainee. As a result, internships have been cancelled, and many students are left with no validated experience.
In order to allow their students to resume their internship or find a new company, the business schools are organized. Virtual job dating to connect students and companies, contact with potential new partners… Every effort is made to ensure the success of the students. In addition, as companies in many sectors gradually emerge from the current crisis, they are expressing recruitment needs. A win-win solution for students, but also for businesses. The IFP Bordeaux Business School was able to build on its strong network of partners. It offers its students more than 30 offers of alternation for large groups. A way to bring them a new, young and dynamic vision to relaunch their business.
Back to business schools under the sign of flexibility
The arrival of the summer holidays gives some respite to the students, as well as to the management and teaching teams of business schools. After the exceptional crisis management that was put in place during the sanitary measures, is now preparing for the start of September. A re-entry with many unknowns, which will be under the sign of flexibility above all. This unprecedented period contributed to the beginning of a transformation of business schools in general. Indeed, the management teams plan to further develop the use of Digital, in order to limit contacts in the first place. Even if campuses are gradually opening up, respect for health and social distancing rules remains the order of the day.
Past months have also developed more strongly some strong values at these schools. An evolution of the programmes, first of all, to integrate all the current problems, societal, environmental, health. Also the development of an anthropological transformation, with a co-construction of all these new models in close connection with students. A strong will that echoes a common effort. On the one hand, the mobilization of employees, and on the other hand that of students. Because the aim of these schools is to train the entrepreneurs of tomorrow, giving them the desire to seek solutions for the future.
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